Cleaning and restoring your Washing Machine

Cleaning and restoring your Washing MachineCleaning your washer is a task that no one wants to do. But following these tips will make it all the more practical for just about anyone to complete—no children!

Unfortunately, over time through usage washing machines build up unwanted hard minerals, nasty soils, hair, mildew, and detergent compounds. These are not only unhealthy for the operation of your machine, but can also leave a nasty or otherwise unwanted smell, or even worse, residue on your clothes.

Many common causes of green or yellow staining on your clothing can be caused by mildew and mold buildup, and even make your clothes stink! While some detergents are specifically designed to clean out your washer during it’s next cycle, these products can be unreasonably costly. Rather, you might find useful taking the time to wash your washer by hand every six months to prevent unwanted smells and coloring.

The best way to clean your top loading washer is by setting it to the highest heat and cycle setting. Through adding white cleaning vinegar (specifically containing six percent acid) to the wash cycle you can renew your washer’s once clean smell and appearance. After starting your cycle, just hit pause, and get to cleaning! Using a soft rag or microfiber (even better) cleaning cloth to wipe the insides and outside of your washer should leave it looking clean and smelling fresh. You can use an old or cheap toothbrush to scrub down the inside, and a rag to wipe up any unwanted residue. Make sure to also clean out the intake dispensers, and then continue the wash after an hour of letting it sit in the cleaner. After this, turn on your washer’s cycle at its hottest and strongest. Doing this will not only wash away the current buildup, but also wash away unwanted smells and clean the interior parts that you can’t see—but still effect your clothes cleanliness.

Try to avoid leaving your washer lid door open unnecessarily, ensuring it’s always dry, and trying to dry out the insides as well during the more humid seasons to avoid bacterial growth or mold buildup.

One final tip: Stop mildew and mold by keeping the lid or door closed when not in use.

For Front Load washers use a similar method for cleaning, but also ensure the water is on the hottest setting. Also add a little bit more white cleaning vinegar, approximately 2 cups. Add a little baking soda (about half a cup) into the washer through the drum, and make sure you clean all rubber gaskets for the best cleaning results!

Image credit: Ivanov Arkady

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We Love Pets But It Calls For Cleaning

We Love Pets But It Calls For Cleaning A dog is a man’s best friend, and other pets can be like members of the family, but they’re not the independent creatures who can clean up after themselves, thus it requires us to do the job for them.

Cleaning up after pets calls for two strategies, actually three.  The first is training them to avoid such messes like house breaking them properly, not allowing them in certain areas and making sure they understand this.  Leaping up on the sofa or lounging on the kitchen table are no-nos for most pets although there are ranges of how much comfort a pet is allowed in the house.  The more leverage they are allowed, the more cleaning you’ll have to use.

The second strategy is to prevent problems.  This includes brushing them properly, bathing them properly, and cleaning up before they come into the house.  There are all sorts of new gizmos out there that work mostly on keeping paws cleaned.  Cats and dogs particularly, will trounce through the most messy environments, dogs in particular.  Before they enter the home you can wipe off their paws and inspect them.  Some doggie and cat entry doors have rough carpet that can wipe off the mud and dirt to a good degree.  Put pet doors in areas that won’t lead directly to the expensive carpeting or kitchen floors.  The basement entry is a good one as they’ll have to walk across concrete or inexpensive carpeting first.

Finally, is the cleanup.  For animals with hair or fur, use brushes on the furniture.  Velcro brushes work fine.  Vacuum cleaners with extensions should get to the wide areas and hard to reach places.  For those messy messes, you’ll need disinfectant cleaners like vinegar and warm water.  Other cleaning solutions can be used but you don’t want to poison your pets so check with your local pet store for the safe products to use.

Since there are all sorts of pets, we need to look at the variety of species. People will make a pet out of anything, even animals that are dangerous.  From big cats to birds, to even reptiles, and aquatic animals.

Cleaning up an aquarium for example takes skill as you don’t want to kill the creatures inside.  This can range from fish to snails, turtles, small lizards, frogs.  There’s a procedure for moving the contents of an aquarium and a good book on the subject is best to serve as procedural reference.  You just can’t dump the aquarium contents in a bucket and use a spray cleaner.  That might kill the pets. Sometimes good old fashioned vinegar and warm water to clean the enclosure will work.

For birds, some people have open perches for the big ones like the colorful tucans and parrots.  There are products that people put at the bottom of these to capture the droppings and spilled food.  In the old days people used newspapers but there are more efficient and cleaner products available at your pet store, or you can make on your own.

Knowing your pet’s habits, timing for messes is also good.  You’ll be able to anticipate and prepare.  You can’t control everything about an animal but you can minimize the messes with some attention and loving care.

Image credit: John McAllister

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Spring Cleaning The Smart Way

Spring Cleaning The Smart WayEveryone loves Spring Cleaning….not!

It’s that time of year when we have to do a thorough inside and outside cleaning to get rid of the stacked up dirt and grime and weather damage of the winter.  Folks who live in the winter states undertake this traditional activity and it’s a job that includes the entire family.

To get the job done calls for planning and getting the right materials from the start.  No nee d using the same worn out brooms, mops, sponges, and rags you’ve used the past year, no, you need to get new materials and plan things accordingly.

Pets get older during the winter months and we can’t always keep up with them. Same goes for the children.  There might be hidden spots where toys, food, dragged in critters by the cat, can get stashed and cause damage.

First of all, get the new brooms, bags, cleaning solutions.  Look for any new products available that are good and safe.  Often companies will upgrade their products or new products will hit the shelves.  Using the tried and true solutions like vinegar and ammonia and so on from brands you trust are the foundation of your assault on the dirt and grime.

Vacuum cleaners have to be cleaned from head to nozzle.  Filters must be fresh and clean.  Same goes for steam cleaners.  Get the ones that have the right temperatures.  You’ll need to be able to get rid of things like flea eggs and other insects and their leavings.  Many steam cleaners can reach temps of over 200 degrees and that should be more than efficient.

Home cleaning might call for hiring a professional.  There are many services available for this and these companies specialize in not only cleaning the home or office.  They’ll lay down a battle plan with you to ensure you get the deep home cleaning without damaging your home and possessions.  Actually, you can do a good job of cleaning yourself and then have the cleaning company come in to mop things out.

Spring cleaning needs not be some daunting task that is rife with misery and woe. It can be a real family fun time and teach the kids about responsibility and get them prepared in life for living a clean life further on.  With mom and dad pitching in, the kids will see how important working as a team can be.  One might even put some pet socks on the dog that have become popular and have the critter walk around helping to sweep the linoleum.

Once you’ve done the cleaning take pictures to see how well you’ve done.  Actually, take pics and video from beginning to end.  This will keep a record of what was done and can be used for reference later.

Image credit: feverpitched

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Cleaning Carpets The Right Way Means Going Deep

Cleaning Carpets The Right Way Means Going DeepCarpeting is still a major part of the home or office and keeping the carpets clean means you’ll need to do a little more than you might be used to.

First of all, carpets aren’t like linoleum, hardwood, or flat surface flooring. You know that already but far too many people take care of their carpets as though they are and that’s not a good thing.

Think of carpeting like your dog or cat’s fur.  It’s deep rooted and needs to be be cleaned not only at the surface but at the base or the roots.  A vacuum cleaner is the tool of choice, but if you don’t do deep cleaning you’re defeating the purpose. The reason for this is because dirt, particles, and those nasty allergens, get in deep and a simple passing over with a vacuum cleaner just won’t do the trick.  It’s sort of like farming.  You look at the area you need to tend to and apply the maintenance you need to get the optimum effect.

To do this, you need to look at where the high traffic areas are.  What areas do the kids and pets favor?  Open windows nearby?  These are the areas that you need to do the most vacuuming on.  Don’t just give them a simple two or three passes, go for broke and set the vacuum for the deep carpet cleaning and pass over the areas around 12 times.  This will ensure that the dirt and other particles are lifted up.

One needs to do this at least once a week.  The longer you wait, the more particulates accumulate and can cause trouble.  A good vacuum cleaner should have settings for deep cleaning and in those areas along baseboards and walls, the extensions that come along with the vacuum come in hand and should be used.

Timing is important.  If the family gathers in the den or playroom on Saturdays for those movie nights, then it’s best to clean up right after or the next day.  Same goes for holidays as there is more traffic and often packaging like presents opened can leave materials that can get ground into the carpet.

A regular schedule of cleaning can keep your carpeting in great shape and prevent damage to the underlying floor  and prevent discoloring.  Shampooing the carpet is important too and using just the right solutions is paramount.  This should be done at least once a month but no more than that as it could damage the carpet.

Overall, a simple and smart maintenance of your carpeting can make it last for years.

Image credit: Ernest Prim

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Defending Against Germs With Proper Home Cleaning

Defending Against Germs With Proper Home CleaningIn today’s world of measles outbreaks, ebola, and the flu, it’s never been more emphasized on how one can defend oneself and one’s household with the proper home cleaning that everyone should partake in.cle

Amazingly, it doesn’t call for an industrial strength effort to make the home germ and bacteria free. Just following the most simple of steps with the right materials can limit drastically the foothold that these pathogens can gain.

Remember, the germs, bacteria, and viruses that get into the house often come from the outside. Humans, pets, even a breeze can deposit active pathogens on the surfaces of common objects just waiting to be picked up or carried to unsuspecting family members an guests. The same routines outlined here could also be applied to the office.

First of all look around at the surfaces that people touch the most. Doorknobs, television remotes, counter surfaces, computer keyboards and any objects that the people inside would share like broom handles, tools, and utensils. Using a simple spray solution and a clean cloth or sponge should do the trick in most cases. Keeping surfaces wiped down a minimum of twice a day and more active surfaces and objects more regularly. Some people use the old vinegar and water technique or maybe ammonia. Make sure your solution won’t damage the objects and don’t leave them out for the wee ones to get hold of. Keep things washed from bed linen spreads, to curtains and upholstery cleaned.

Use a humidifier to keep the air moist and open a window now and then to get a fresh breeze in. Don’t leave discarded clothing lying around and keep shoes in a location near the door as the Japanese do. Footwear brings in a plethora of dirt and pathogens. It’s not a common thing to do in the western world but is a good idea to adopt.

Keep pet articles in their place and clean them regularly. There’s no telling what Fido or Whiskers has been gnawing on out in the yard while you were busy with your daily routines.

Today’s smartphones can gather up a bit of microorganisms but unlike the old days of a communal phone, these devices pose a lesser threat but also should be cleaned regularly with the proper tools and solutions.

Keep a spray bottle of a good brand of disinfectant around just in case. And again, use only rags, sponges, towels that are clean.

Overall, just following these simple guidelines will defend yourself and others against the spread of most communicable diseases and make for a healthier lifestyle. Home cleaning at its best!

Image credit:  Andriy Popov

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Crucial Tips for Cleaning Your Kitchen!

Crucial Tips for Cleaning Your Kitchen!Having a clean kitchen isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. You need t be aware of how dirty your kitchen can get if you’re looking to have the most sanitized area of your house where you eat the food (which only makes sense, right?). Cleaning a kitchen is always nice, but giving your kitchen a very deep scrub down is a completely different story. There’s always going to be specific kinds of bacteria that can stick around if you aren’t careful, and clearly that’s a situation none of us need to be in (nor deserve to be). We’re going to go over a few techniques you can make use of in order to get your kitchen situation sorted out, but don’t think that reading them alone is going to get the job done! You’re going to have to get up and start cleaning if you really want a sanitized eating area, so don’t be lazy. The tips are going to be straightforward, so don’t expect an extravagant list (after all this is cleaning the kitchen we’re talking about here!).

You should always try and use the minimal amount of cleaning products as possible, because more isn’t exactly better in this case. The more chemicals you’re making use of, the more you’ll have to wash off when it comes to the rinsing portion of it all. You also need to focus on cleaning out your pantry, because pantries are often crowded and leave little room for new foods to be put in. Most of the time the pantry is filled with stuff you wouldn’t even eat, which is why you should be cleaning it out monthly (or even bi-monthly). Ammonia is a very powerful compound that’s used to blast away those grease stains in your kitchen, so even though its quite pungent you should always be using ammonia to de-grease everything. Dish soap will be your best friend when it comes to kitchen cleaning, because we all know what comes along with cleaning the kitchen; dishes upon dishes. There will be dishes that need to be washed and you will need to wash them, so just get it over with.

Glass shards are a very big no in any kitchen, so if you’ve broken something just bust out a piece of bread. You can use the bread to pick up the shards and make sure that nobody gets hurts! It’s a win-win situation!

Image credit: Elena Elisseeva

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Tips on Getting Rid of Your Yearly Holiday Mess

Tips on Getting Rid of Your Yearly Holiday MessWe’re all well aware as to how exciting Christmas can be, even if you’re an adult! It might be the snow or it might just be the fact that everybody is in a giving mood, but Christmas is definitely one of those days that people love to see roll around on the calendar. It’s all fun and games when you’re actually opening up the presents, but what happens when everybody is gone and you’re left with all of the trash? There’s going to be gift wrapping paper and chocolate covers all over the place, but that’s completely fine since you’re reading this article. We’re going to talk about a few of the things you can of in order to clear up the mess quicker than you normally would, after all, it is Christmas (or at least was)!

You’ll always feel like cleaning up after everyone else is boring and time-consuming, but not when you make use of our tips! Soak them up and make sure you apply them as often as you can, odds are it will help out immensely.

  1. Pile up your laundry – Making a laundry pile will allow you to see what needs to be washed and what can just been thrown into the load as well. Take the tags off of any new pieces of clothing and decide whether or not they need to be washed, this will make sure your children or loved ones actually put the clothes in their dresser after all is said and done.
  2. Take everything out of the box ASAP – Removing items from their boxes not only clears up space in the house, but it also cuts down on the amount of garbage you’ll need to deal with further down the road.
  3. Make piles/groups of items for specific rooms – This will allow you to distribute the gifts throughout the house in a timely manner, as opposed to just letting them sit around until somebody comes up and claims them. Books would go into a bookshelf piles, pants would go into a pants pile, etc!
  4. Have your family help – Cleaning isn’t just a one person job, the more bodies you have around to help you out the better. Make sure your family is willing to help you get the house clean after the holidays, because they’re going to be living in it as well.

Image credit: Martina Osmy

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How to Naturally Clean Your Old & Stained Carpets

How to Naturally Clean Your Old & Stained CarpetsCarpets that appear worn out never get any second looks, nobody thinks it’s a good vibe and that’s why people are always looking to have their stained carpets clean. Most people would hire a service to come in and do it for them, which is completely fine if you have no problem with numerous amounts of chemicals. The chemicals that these companies use can be pretty hefty at times, which is why understanding that you can clean your old and stained carpets through natural means is important. It doesn’t matter how clean of a person you are naturally, and it doesn’t even matter if you strive to keep your home clean; no matter what you do your older carpets are going to turn into a stained (yet not forgotten!) mess. The chemicals that these companies regular use emit very strong odours, which means that you’ll have to deal with that chemical stench long after they’ve left your home. It might be worth it if you really want a clean carpet, but seeing as the same result can be had through the use of natural products makes hiring a cleaning service obsolete.

These cleaners won’t consist of harsh chemicals and they aren’t going to stick around long after they’ve done their job, so carpet cleaning projects have never been as easy as they are these days. All you’ll need is borax and cornmeal, mix these two ingredients and you’ll have a powder that will help remove stains and keep your carpet fresh for a longer period of time. “Fresh” carpets just mean ones that look and smell great, and that’s one of those things that we can all come to enjoy. This powder makes it easier to get rid of the grime and nasty bits that are going to come off of your carpet, even if you’re just making use of warm water.

Carpets needs to be kept clean if you’re going to have a house that’s well-kept, carpets are a major part of your property and should be treated accordingly. Of course the carpet cleaning companies out there are going to make it seem like you absolutely need their services, but don’t let them fool you! Take the natural route and you’re going to be in a better place at the end of it all, and that’s something you can take to the bank.

In case you need carpet cleaning or rug cleaning service we recommend AFC Floor Care company or call them at 813-933-6049 for an estimate.

Image credit: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

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Six Condominium Cleaning Tips

Six Condominium Cleaning TipsCondominiums can be found in a number of different sizes and shapes. However, there is one basic strategy that can help cleaning them all. At times, you would find a good amount of time for cleaning the empty condominium. However, at other times, the cleaning needs to be completed rather immediately. Irrespective of whether the condominium cleaning is done in a hurry or at leisure, there should be a specific plan for execution. And this plan is necessary not just for commercial cleaning but for personal cleaning as well. This will reduce the amount of the time otherwise consumed to a great extent in cleaning the condominium just so that everyone can view it and also appreciate it.

Here are a few instructions that will help you in condominium cleaning:

1. The balconies are to be swept with whisk broom. The cobwebs formed on the hand railings should be swept away.

2. The light covers should be detached and the accumulated dust and bugs should be removed. A duster should be used for dusting the chandeliers and ceiling fans. The trim on windows and doors should be dusted including that of the window ledges. The blinds are to be dusted along with the steps and interior hand railings. All vents should be dusted. The dashboards should be dusted as well. The built in shelves should as well be cleaned with a duster. Wipe the hand prints off on the door knobs and switches with the help of paper towel to ensure a proper condominium cleaning.

3. The windows should be wiped down, and also the front screen door and sliding glass door. The cleaning should be done with paper towel and window cleaner which will leave them free of streak.

4. The top of the refrigerator should be dusted along with the interiors and the top of cabinets. Make use of a vacuum cleaning on the cabinet interiors when necessary. Prepare a cleaning liquid or solution that should be made with a quarter cup baking soda to quarter cup water. A piece of clean cloth can be taken for cleaning the outside and inner side of the fridge with this solution. Paper towels can be used to wipe dry. The dishwasher should be turned on without dishes inside following which paper towels can be used to clean dry the fridge. Use paper towels and disinfectant spray for cleaning the backsplash and wiping the sink and the counter. Collect the used towels in garbage bag. If the oven is provided with self cleaning system, it should be let on. When it has cooled down, the ash can be wiped away with paper towel. In case there isn’t any self cleaning system available, it should be cleaned with oven cleaner.

5. A bathroom cleaner can be used for cleaning the tub and shower and shower curtain. Following this they should be wiped with paper towel. The countertop and the sink can be cleaned using a disinfectant. This will ensure quality condominium cleaning.

6. Tile cleaner can be used for mopping any floor. Hardwood floors should be mopped with hardwood floor cleaners and carpeted areas should be vacuumed.

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Some Crucial Cleaning Tips for summer

Cleaning TipsThe warm weather of summer is the right time to consider cleaning chores that have not been attended for long. Although spring is the season when much attention is paid to cleaning, a new checklist of cleaning tasks can be prepared for summer. Different summer cleaning tips are given below for different areas in a house.

Patio Furniture

Weather conditions, spilled drinks and eatables, sitting, etc., outdoor furniture bear too much to be left unattended. Spot cleaning is the best for patio furniture made of any fabric. One of the summer cleaning tips for outdoor furniture is: use gentle cleaners preferably with hose. Follow instructions carefully to prevent patio furniture from damage.

Concrete Patios & Porches

Concrete patios and porches are beaten by bird droppings, mud and debris blown by the wind. In case of too bad a condition, professional assistance is recommended. Otherwise, mix dishwashing soap in warm water to clean stains with the help of a strong scrub. Use pressure washer for simple finish.

Barbecue Grills

Barbecue grills demand some of the best summer cleaning tips as they are most used during summer, at home and at camps too. Heavy-duty cleaner and wire grill brush are required to clean grille.

Downspouts & Gutters

Gutters get jammed by debris, gunk, leaves, etc. mostly during summer, which makes inspection of gutters and cleaning of downspouts an obvious necessity during summers.

Fountains, Pools and Spas

For some unknown reasons, fountains, pools and spas in the backyard seem to have magnetic effect on twigs, leaves, debris, etc. Those who know the art of cleaning them appropriately can do it; otherwise professionals can be contacted.

Outdoor Lighting

Techniques of cleaning outdoor lighting have to be among the summer cleaning tips. There are many insects that are attracted towards light. They often manage to get inside the covers of lamps and die down there. That is alone reason enough to include outdoor lamps in the summer cleaning checklist.

Air Filters

Air is something without which regular humans cannot live for even minutes. Unlike impurities in water and food, polluted air cannot be checked before inhalation, which is why cleaning air filters every 3 months is recommended.

Ceiling Fans

One of the most used appliances during summer is ceiling fans. Naturally, they attract huge volume of dust and dirt which accumulate on its blade making it look dirty and the air it circulates polluted. They can be easily cleaned with damped cloth even while they are attached.

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